Caribbean Utilities Company has sponsored Cayman’s CARIFTA track and field teams for 18 years and it appears that their commitment to the country’s best young track athletes is growing stronger.
The Cayman Islands national team returned on Tuesday after competing in the CARIFTA Games hosted by the Turks and Caicos Islands last weekend. The CARIFTA Games is the Caribbean’s premier track and field championship meet for junior athletes.
Three Caymanians earned silver medals this year.
Noticeably present to greet the team upon their return were two high profile CUC employees.
Mr. Richard Hew, CUC’s president and CEO, and Ms Caren Thompson, CUC’s manager of corporate communications, were there to shake hands and deliver a few pats on the back.
Understandably, most of the athletes were tired from their journey and eager to get home.
It’s never easy going up the best the Caribbean has to offer in track and field.
The Jamaicans, for example, were in typical juggernaut form this year.
Still, many of them were noticeably grateful that Mr. Hew and Ms Thompson cared enough to be there for them.
It is nice for one of Cayman’s largest and most profitable companies to write a check every year to help athletes meet their expenses as they chase their goals.
But what makes CUC’s commitment to this national team exceptional is that the two key employees are involved enough to leave their office in the middle of the day and drive to the airport so that they can tell several teenagers, well done.
This is a rare personal touch that makes CUC’s corporate sponsorship worth far more than the money.
The Caymanian Compass encourages companies to financially support Cayman’s sports teams and sports leagues, especially those involving young athletes.
However, donors would do well to keep CUC’s example in mind.
More than money can be given.
In fact, the currency of warm smiles and sincere encouragement can be just about as valuable as cold cash.
By taking out a little time and making the effort to applaud the athletes, sponsors can easily double the power of their investment.